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SEC’s Most Anticipated Non-Conference Football Games For The 2022 Season

We are starting to look ahead to the 2022 SEC football season, with spring practice wrapping up across the conference. As every fanbase starts to talk themselves up about the upcoming season, there are a number of non-conference games to get excited about. If you haven’t already booked your travel to see your favorite team play in one of these games, I’d go ahead and knock that out soon.

We all know that the first few weeks of the season bring us a number of games that are prominent on the national level. So, let’s take a look at the games that stand out the most.

Georgia vs. Oregon (September 3rd, Atlanta)

One of the most intriguing storylines to this game is that former Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning is now the head coach at Oregon. Facing his old boss Kirby Smart to open the season will make for an interesting defensive chess match. Former Auburn QB Bo Nix also transferred to Oregon as well. So this could be a fun matchup between Stetson Bennett and Nix, who have already played each other in-conference. The game will be played in Atlanta, which should draw a big crowd, and the Georgia defense versus the Oregon offense hopefully brings us a few fireworks. Bring it on.

Arkansas vs. Cincinnati (September 3rd, Fayetteville)

Sign me up for this game, especially with QB K.J. Jefferson and OC Kendal Briles leading the Razorbacks offense again. I don’t expect the same type of offense from the Bearcats this season, with the loss of QB Desmond Ridder, so look for Arkansas DC Barry Odom to cause chaos for Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell. I do like this matchup, especially since it’ll be played in Fayetteville. This should be an early test for the Hogs, and they should pass.

Utah vs. Florida (September 3rd, Gainesville)

The Billy Napier era at Florida will start with a visit from the Utes, the first time these two teams will have met since 1977. We all know what the Gators are currently dealing with, roster wise, but I expect them to add a few players in the near future. This game could be the coming out party for Anthony Richardson, who should be leading this Gators offense at quarterback. This will be a huge game for Utah HC Kyle Whittingham, and an early test for the Gators.

Florida State vs. LSU (September 4th, New Orleans)

The Brian Kelly era will kickoff against the Seminoles, and LSU fans are anxiously waiting to see what this team will look like in 2022. This will be the first time these two teams have played since 1991, and this time, it will go down on Bourbon Street. There is a quarterback battle brewing in Baton Rouge, so who will lead the offense is still up in the air. The Tigers defense and occasionally stagnant offense should bounce back from last season. As for Mike Norvell and Florida State, they really need to get off on the right foot after a sloppy start in 2021.

Alabama vs. Texas (September 10th, Austin)

There are so many different headlines for this game, but Nick Saban coaching along the Texas sidelines will be fun to watch. Steve Sarkisian facing off against his former boss will be intriguing, especially with QB Quinn Ewers leading the Longhorns offense. I absolutely love these teams playing at home venues and not a neutral site. The Alabama defense should cause problems for the Longhorns, so watching Sarkisian try to navigate around this will be entertaining. Tickets are already $231 apiece, and we are still over four months away.

Auburn vs Penn State (September 17th, Auburn)

James Franklin is headed back to SEC Country. Any time a team like Penn State travels down south, it’s a fun time. The game last season in Happy Valley was intense, and I expect this one to be as well, even if Auburn is still looking to establish an identity. The Tigers’ QB battle was intense this spring with TJ Finely, but Zach Calzada will be ready to go for fall camp. The environment should be electric on the Plains, and this game will hopefully live up to the early hype, at least from an atmosphere standpoint.

Miami vs. Texas A&M (September 17th, College Station)

The third week of the college football season will bring us another premier matchup, with the Canes traveling to play the Aggies. Texas A&M should have the offensive weapons to cause the Hurricanes problems, but don’t look past new Miami coach Mario Cristobal. I know that Mario is in the beginning phase of building back the program, but this one will be an early test for the Aggies defense. Hurricanes QB Tyler Van Dyke comes into this matchup as an early Heisman candidate, which should be fun to watch. Will Haynes King be the quarterback for the Aggies?

Honorable Mention

Arkansas vs. BYU (October 15th, Provo)

This game in Provo will be entertaining, at least from a home viewer standpoint. We’ll see how far along the Razorbacks are in mid-October.

Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh (September 10th, Pittsburgh)

The Vols need to win this game if they are going to take the next step under Josh Heupel. Tennessee is hosting Florida two weeks later, so grabbing a win against a Pitt team without Kenny Pickett and starting the 2022 season 2-0 are a must for the Vols. The Panthers did add USC transfer Kedon Slovis at quarterback and will be coming off a tough first game against West Virginia.

Have your pick. I know there are a few outliers that might arise as we get into the season, but this is shaping up to be an exciting start to the 2022 college football season.

Written by Trey Wallace

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